Covid-19 Public Information

About BGS

We have begun the process of re-opening sites internally, preparing the environment for the measured, safe return of our staff. Our sites remain closed to the public whilst we ensure that all the necessary measures are in place to welcome you back safely. We will continue to share updates on our website as services resume and facilities re-open.

Seismologists report drop in Earth’s movement amid coronavirus lockdown

The BGS seismology team, together with a number of scientists across Europe, have been studying a drop in ambient seismic noise during the coronavirus lockdown. People staying at home has a noticeable effect on the UK’s seismic noise.

BGS has seismometers around the UK and, since lockdown began, there has been a 10-50% drop in vibrations.

Review of impacts on mineral and metal raw materials

The BGS will be conducting a review of the current and likely COVID-19 impacts on the UK security of the supply of mineral and metal raw materials. Further information can be found on the BGS website: https://www.bgs.ac.uk/mineralsuk/statistics/criticalRawMaterials.html

Revised methodology for geological and hydrogeological reports for agencies in support of their Covid-19 emergency duties

BGS currently operates a core service to deliver detailed geological and hydrological information for the expansion of existing or the development of new cemeteries.

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, BGS has revised its methodology to provide a rapid turnaround time for these enquiries, should the situation arise that there is an increase in requests from Local Authorities or other regulatory bodies. (For information, as of 1 May 2020, there have been no additional requests.)

GeoReports

Following a call from the Microbiology Society to support with COVID testing, BGS geomicrobiologists will be using their skills to help with the increase in medical testing. A member of the communications team is also on a secondment to the Department of Health Covid-19 Communications Taskforce, supporting the national testing programme.

Since lockdown began, staff have been coordinating efforts to donate PPE items from the BGS laboratories to local hospitals and GP surgeries. 16,000 pairs of disposable gloves, as well as aprons, lab coats and face masks.

Following appeals to staff, over 1,500 sheets of acetate have been passed by the BGS to the local Parish Council, who are supporting front line workers at Nottingham Hospitals by turning them into face shields.

BGS data scientist Alex Hall took part in a remote hackathon geared towards helping the current pandemic. Run by a London-based company called Mindstream-AI, he teamed up with data scientists and medical experts from around the UK to find ways of adapting code that we normally use for geology to be used for medical purposes. Read about his experience on Geoblogy.

In light of UK Government guidance concerning the Coronavirus (Covid-19) the BGS Geology Shops at Keyworth and Edinburgh are currently closed. A number of our Customer Services Team have returned to the Keyworth site on a limited basis, which has enabled the re-opening of our online shop https://shop.bgs.ac.uk/Shop, although many GeoReports are still temporarily unavailable due to the limitations associated with our report writers needing to work from home.

The London Geology shop is now open Monday to Friday 10am – 17:45pm, along with the rest of the Natural History Museum. Access to the museum will be by booked time slots, for more information visit nhm.ac.uk/visit.

We will still be able to supply the following GeoReports via the links below;

Please note; there may be some delays to services due to limited staff occupancy on site. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause, but will continue to monitor emails at enquiries@bgs.ac.uk if you have any questions we can help with.

Across social media, BGS have been providing activities and information to help families explore geology during lockdown.

Leanne Hughes, BGS survey geologist has started a ‘jam jar geology’ video series. In each video, Leanne demonstrates a short geology-based activity and encourages the audience to take part. Watch on YouTube.

BGS has a whole host of exciting learning resources called Discovering Geology. You can find out about the geology of Britain, how earthquakes happen, Climate Change and the mind blowing subject that is geological time. If you fancy getting arty you can make a map or even cut out and make your own 3D Icelandic glacier. If you are a fan of LEGO, then there are instructions on how to make your very own LEGO seismometer, so that you can measure your own earth tremors.

The BGS blog, Geoblogy, features regular articles containing ideas of geology experiments, arts and crafts, as well as geology courses.

On Twitter, BGS minerals geologist, Clive Mitchell, took on the role of Rock Doctor. He helped diagnose and share clues about the origins of BGS Twitter follower’s rocks.

Need more information?

Please contact the BGS enquiries team

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